Monthly archive

agosto 2015

MY FAMILY VACATION TO DISMALAND

in Blog/English

 

 

 

By Nicole Chaput

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My kids are ten but we have this mutual understanding that if I treat them as If they’re twenty, we will enjoy a rewarding environment. So when they told me they wanted to go to Disneyland for the summer to see Sleeping Beauty and eat pancakes at Goofy’s Kitchen, I told them we would spend the summer in a place that is more age appropriate. We are heading to Dismaland because it is a simulation of the vile world we live in, I tell them.

Although Dismaland has been labeled as a dystopian amusement park, I think it is alarmingly realistic. Our most feared nightmares are now an undeniable truth.

I would share more of the reactions of my children but I am afraid that will expose their upcoming traumas and my alternative parenting methods.

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Security

We enter Dismaland through the main entrance. Guards welcome you with a TSA style search where they treat you as the world’s most wanted criminal. The officers talk to you in a demeaning fashion, assuming short IQ levels and making their prejudice evident.

No, I do not have dynamite and the only drugs in my possession were smoked and inhaled earlier this morning thank you very much. And yes, I understand I do not need to take my iPad out of my carry on.

I can see my kids are intimidated and I tell them to think of this rude behavior as the unmentioned extra charge for foreigners when purchasing a ticket from or to the United States.

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The Glass Slipper Of Our Generation

My daughter is not old enough to date or tokiss or hold hands. So – I think to myself – this is a good time to tell her about men and assholery. Young men will promise “True Love’s Kiss” and then leave you in a coffin with seven creepy dwarfs. They will take you to Wonderland and then say they can’t stay with you because they never want to grow up. Sure there are exceptions but they hide under rocks, between pages and inside movie screens. Honey, build your own castle.

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cinderella

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Like OMG. Remember that time when we, like, got totally waaasted. Like, I couldn’t even remember anything. Lmao I even lost ONE stiletto and I was like…

You were like: booty call. So you got into a pumpkin carriage because it did seem like a good idea after God knows how many shots. And the horses were enchanted under the Tequila spell too. And it all seemed like a good wish your heart had made.

Soak Zone

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There are no ethics or humanity – if it makes money – let’s make it a modern amusement.

One word: Blackfish.

Question Marks and Exclamation Marks

Other subjects are tackled in Dismaland as well. Including the questionable processing of the food we eat and the limited knowledge we have of its origin. Hot dogs are made of canine meat for all we know.

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In all seriousness, I like this installation. I think that the artist’s selection is a fresh sample of one of many branches of contemporary art. Many of the sculptures inside the galleries caught my eye and the themes have a resonating relevance. Dismaland is a very solid arrangement armed with wit to attack the chaos behind our commodities and the ridiculous patterns our society finds engaging. There is a healthy social value in this cogent artwork; yet, I question its ambition. This anti-fairytale has truly charmed me but I simply cannot ignore that it falls into a satirical cliché where the parody is very obvious and fails to go any further than that. For example, inside the park there is a piece that comments on Europe’s refugee crisis, where two small crowded boats float and there is a person drowning. This piece reminded me on Francis Alys’ portrayal of this issue and how he doesn’t just represent but he yields insight through his social experiments to give the viewer a broader and more profound comment about his take on the matter. Many pieces inside Dismaland seem to just tell and not show. Maybe the works are so evident for the purpose of accessibility and to appeal a larger demographic. I just wonder if this true.

Despite my skepticism, I think Dismaland has not only artistic, but also a blooming social transcendence that utilizes cynicism to illustrate the extent of this postmodern social illness .

When we leave, my children both look at me, pale. Their eyes become gloomy allowing me to foreshadow what they will ask. They ask me why I brought them into this world and I tell them this exhausted and miserable world is sometimes joyful too. But it will take them several more years to understand that.

The Icon of a political nightmare

in Blog/English
By Nicole Chaput

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Afghan-Girl

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My friends and I got together for lunch the other day and one of them urged for us to go see the Steve McCurry exhibit. Someone asked who he was. “You all know that photo of the Afghan girl with green eyes that appeared in the cover of Nat Geo?” Well, who doesn’t…

When we arrived to the gallery we saw her. A million pages can be dedicated to Steve McCurry’s technical aptitude, the vividness of his colors and the intimacy he creates with the subject. But Afghan Girl articulates with a single gaze.

What I find the most captivating about this photograph is the coexisting dialogue of allure and misery. Her eyes shine with the exclusivity of all the diamond rings but everything else in the photograph suggests otherwise.

The photograph is read with a lot of tension because despite its chaotic contextual framework of war, death and oppression, it is exquisite aesthetically speaking. The girl in the picture bleeds adversity and yet the photograph is remarkably beautiful; there lies its tragedy.

When shot, Afghan Girl was a refugee in Pakistan at the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The photograph was taken at the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in 1984 and then appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. It was meant to illustrate the 1980’s Afghan conflict and the blue refugee issue occurring worldwide. The war lasted 23 years, 1.5 million people were killed and there were 3.5 million refugees. Afghan Girl has earned the name of “The First World’s Third World Mona Lisa” and is repeatedly compared to the iconic Da Vinci painting.

The subject in the photograph remained unknown for 18 years. She existed only as a mysterious girl who conquered the world with a piercing glance. But in 2002, a National Geographic team hunted her down. The refugee camp was closing soon and upon a series of inquiries the girl’s brother unveiled her whereabouts. Although McCurry recognized her as soon as he saw her eyes, John Daugman with the use of iris recognition later confirmed her identity. She was formally identified as Sharbat Gula. Gula is now approximately 29 years old and spends her time cleaning, cooking and doing laundry for her three daughters. Sharbat Gula can write her name but cannot read. She says there is no hope for her education, but wishes her kids to have the opportunity.

McCurry shot the most expressive testimony of a victim, but Gula personifies the personal nightmare occurring in the twilight of wartime.

I am sure most are familiar with this portrait, but seeing the piece full sized in a dialogue with a clever selection of McCurry’s works is a different visual experience that saturates any viewer with awe.

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Galería Patricia Conde

Lafontaine 73, Polanco

Mexico City, Mexico

Ends: September 4

Banksy’s Fairy Tale

in ACC Network/English

Os Gemeos are taking over NYC this summer! After collaborating with JR and Baron Andre in the streets of Manhattan and featuring their , they whipped up this amazing homage to the golden era of hip hop with a fine detail by legendary artist Doze Green.

In Mexico City, artists Ever and Smithe teamed up once again for another one of their deep collaborations and we got to chat with Ever about their latest piece.

Disneyland looking dull for the summer? Worry not cause Banksy’s got you covered with his bemusement park: Dismaland. The artist’s newest feat is a mind-blowing ensemble of attractions from Cinderella’s Castel to a Guerrilla Island to exhibition spaces with artworks by artists such as Escif, Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Paul Insect, BAST and many more. An absolute must for those in or neer Weston-super-Mare, blokes!

In our newly added section of “DID YOU KNOW?” we dig into the Art Institute of Chicago’s amazing Touch Gallery and their numerous strategies to allow its patrons and visitors with vision disabilities to enjoy the art like their TacTile Kits and 3-D printing. Check it out!

We leave you with some eye candy for you to enjoy over the weekend, kickin’ it back old school: the 1979 movie “The Warriors.” Get the popcorn and nostalgia going!

And in our delicious section of Food Tips by Gag, artist Zio Ziegler gives us the low down on where to get the best burritos in Cozumel, YUM!

Eye Catcher

in ACC Network/English

Take flight with Italian artist Hitness and his amazing project “The Image Hunter” to discover Audubon’s “Birds of America” through murals.

Proyectos Unidos Mexicanos (PUM) will be landing in New York City for its first edition to feature the best of contemporary Mexico, through design, art, food, textiles and more.

Os Gemeos will be making your brains and vision explode with their most recent project “Parallel Connections” in Times Square in NYC all of August.

Another mind-blowing artist is our friend Smithe, who keeps conquering the world, one strike at a time. He is now part of the Original Superstars selected by Pharrell for Adidas.

Check out these projects and artists that have caught our eye this week, and will surely catch yours!

OPEN HOUSE

in Blog/English
By Nicole Chaput

 

When looking at one of those exceptional works, one begins to distill the piece.

We guess what colors were combined to get that specific shade of blue and estimate the number of layers that lie beneath the surface. We read about the piece and become aware of its context to understand the artistic intent. But this can only get us so far.

To know the swan, one must dive into the swamp and understand its relationship to pond shit, mud and flying insects. Artists are no different.

Visiting an artist’s house sheds a lot of light to the mysterious realms of their personality and their sources of inspiration. The work says a lot about the artist, but the artist’s environment unveils a large portion of the work as well.

The following artists are, in my opinion, the ones that habituated their space most poetically. What makes their house a home mirrors what makes paint on a canvas an artwork.

KAHLO: The Spirit House

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I was eight the first time I went to Frida’s (1907-1954) and it was a school field trip. I swore Frida’s spirit was still there and returned home quite scared. Older, and hopefully wiser, I went to Frida’s again and was able to appreciate the beauty in her personal tragedy. The blue house, where Frida still floats, is a breath of her personality and an echo of her singular character.

In the first room, there are a few of her early portraits, quick sketches and glowing diary entries. Her kitchen will awaken your appetite. Her studio has posters that describe fetal development. A wheelchair is parked in front of an easel. When walking into her room, one cannot help but feel intrusive. Frida is still sleeping.

PS: Her wardrobe is currently on display.

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Location: Londres 247, Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico.


BROWN: Decorative Schizophrenia

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Roger Brown (1941-1997), former Chicago Imagist, has one of the most bizarre collections I have ever seen. His home is saturated with quirky items from various cultures that are in constant dialogue with each other. All the garage sales from all over the world unite to wallpaper his home. Brown’s house is a dissonant whole.

Collecting was an integral element in Brown’s practice and the objects collected were source material for his paintings. Brown also collected paintings by his contemporaries including Jim Nutt, Barbara Rossi, Ray Roshidand and self taught artists. Every single room in his house is densely populated with objects belonging to discrete geographical locations. All the objects are treated as museum artifacts.

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Location: 1926 N. Halsted Street , Chicago, USA


ENSOR: Welcome to the Puppet Show

James Ensor (1860-1949) was one of the most influential and scandalous Belgian painters of his time. In his work, he depicts masquerades to unveil the grotesque nature of mankind. But this motif was circumstantial. Ensor could not afford models to paint and instead created puppets. Thus, Ensor was not only a great painter and printmaker but a puppet maker as well.

In his home, many of his original puppets sit in his furniture mocking the visitor. There are very few of his paintings, but visiting the spaces where the artist lived and worked is like walking into one of his pieces. Ensor invites you to sit with the subjects in his paintings.

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Location: Vlaanderenstraat 27
8400 Oostende, Belgium.

If you haven’t already

in Blog/English
by Nicole Chaput

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It is summer and it is hot. It seems that staying in watching Netflix is a better option than going out and dealing with sweat, a crowd of tourists and melting cement. But Basquiat’s work is on display and that seems like a good enough reason to leave your air conditioned room and save your favorite TV shows for later.

Jean-Michel Basquiat was one of the most revolutionary artists of Western Art History despite his unconventional background. There are many anecdotes about young Basquiat and his somber childhood, his graffiti years and his struggles with drugs. Roberta Smith says: “His talent was too undeniable, his art too accessible and — for better and worse — his story, as a young, black, self-taught prodigy, too inspiring, despite its tragic end,” demonstrating how his background nurtured him as a cultural figure and as an artist. The Brooklyn based artist developed his own artistic language composed of symbols, images and text and was influenced by comics, advertising, children’s drawings, politics, hip hop, pop art and ephemeral life. By the 80’s, Basquiat was exhibiting in Paris and Africa simultaneously: his artistic success was undeniable. Yet, in 1988, at age 27, Basquiat dies of an overdose, leaving only his evident and sparkling originality and his strong, unique voice. Today, Basquiat’s legacy endures and his influence is still strong among contemporary artists. The original and unique visual language he developed is still something many artists hope to achieve.

His work is currently on display at The Brooklyn Museum and the Guggenheim Bilbao.


The Brooklyn Museum: Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks

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The show is composed of 160 pages from eight notebooks inLarry Warsh’ collection, which had never been shown before. The Unknown Notebooks emphasize the distinct interplay of text and images in Basquiat’s art, providing unprecedented insight into the importance of writing in the artist’s process.

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Ends: August 23, 2015.


 

Guggenheim Bilbao: Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time

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An explorations of the themes in Basquiat’s groundbreaking art and features some 100 paintings and drawings.

Ends: November 1, 2015.

 

Game of Thrones can wait.

Art: Reforming Youth from Brooklyn to Mexico City

in ACC Network/English/Shorts

In the framework of International Youth Day (IYD), we present a Short Story that is very dear to our heart because it celebrates the work of two great organizations, Cauce Ciudadano A.C. and Young New Yorkers – in Mexico City and New York respectively -, that strive not only to better the lives of young people but to transform their mindsets and empower them to positively impact their communities.

We had the pleasure of talking to them to dig into the life-changing work they do.

Young New Yorkers is a restorative justice arts program for 16 and 17-year olds who have criminal cases. The youngsters participate in the workshops rather than do jail time, which invariably results in them taking responsibility for their actions and become valued members, even leaders, of their community.

Cauce Ciudadano A.C. is a Mexican organization that works to prevent, decrease and eliminate violence produced by youngsters through social intervention, education and productive training. They use art as an alternative to create a cultural change.

Walk through their workshops, meet the young participants; become part of this reform.

A very special thanks to Cauce Ciudadano and Young New Yorkers for their endless help and infinite patience.

Glimpse of America: RECAP

in ACC Network/English

Artists 2501 and G. Matta embarked on a journey from June 15 to July 24, 2015, passing through Miami, New Orleans, Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Rochester, Detroit, Chicago, Las Vegas and many National Parks and deserts. They told their story in collaboration with All City Canvas, through these weekly glimpses they sent from the road. Reminisce on this fantastic journey of “Glimpse of America” with them. Enjoy!

 

 

Episode 1: Miami & Gainesville

 

 

Episode 2: From Richmond to NYC

 

 

Glimpse 3: Detroit

 

 

Glimpse 4: Chicago – The Loop City

 

 

Glimpse 5: End/Beginning

 

Enjoy and share if you liked the ride!

 

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